Stanley is a colorful seaside town that still boasts many signs of its British heritage. Throughout the capital of the Falklands, you will spot English pubs, red phone boxes and other British details, but the city also has cultivated its own distinct charm.
Stanley is a small town, and the best way to see it is on foot. As you stroll the streets, you will notice a variety of architectural styles. Most of the older homes feature detailed decorative woodwork and vibrantly colored corrugated iron roofs. The oldest cottages still stand on Drury Street and Pioneer Row, and most are made of timber because the early settlers found the local stone too difficult to manage. There are, however, a few stone houses in the town, including the Stanley Cottage, Jubilee Villas and Marmont Row. Other buildings noted for their architecture include the Government House, the Post Office, the Court and Council Chamber and the Philatelic Bureau.
One of the most iconic spaces in Stanley is the Christ Church Cathedral. Inside is a museum dedicated to the history of Christianity in the islands, and next door is the Whalebone Arch, built in 1933 to commemorate 100 years of British administration. Made of the jawbones of two blue whales, the arch is an eye-catching symbol of the capital.
The heritage and development of the islands take center stage at the Falkland Islands Museum. The Britannia House exhibits cover natural and social history, and the highlight of the collection is the Reclus Hut, a traditional hut transplanted from the Antarctic Peninsula. The museum’s other collection at Cartmell Cottage highlights life in the Falklands during the 1970’s, 1940’s and 1850’s.
The Falklands have a rich maritime history, and an entire museum is dedicated to telling the stories of seafarers, fishing and boating in the area. Many notable shipwrecks dot the shores, including the mid-19th century Jhelum, the iron Lady Elizabeth and the skeletal Capricorn.
Key events in the islands’ history are told through memorials in and around Stanley. The Battle Memorial is dedicated to the soldiers who died during the 1914 Battle of the Falklands, and the statue is surrounded by bright yellow gorse during the summer. Both World Wars are commemorated by the Cross of Sacrifice, and the Memorial Wood is dedicated to the British Forces killed in the 1982 conflict.
Stanley is loaded with gift shops offering souvenirs and crafts made throughout the Falklands. Key pieces include jewelry made from the local opaque pebbles and semi-precious stones, woolen garments knit for local wools and wooden pieces made from salvaged shipwrecks. The city has a thriving community of artists that produce lovely seascapes and depictions of the local historical attractions, and collectors may also seek out rare medallions, stamps and coins throughout Stanley.